# A Weapon of Mass Instruction!

Over 50 years ago, I saw a pencil leaning against the front porch of a house near my grandmother's. I was enthralled with the scale of the pencil. It was almost as tall as the porch posts! Wow! What fun that would be. Does it write? Does it erase? What is it made of? Why did they make it? Dad, can I have it? The only question that was answered was the last one and that answer was "no" but I took it home with me in my mind.

Now, as a teacher who spent 30 years in public schools and another 11 years after I "retired," operating a tutoring business, I have gone through a lot of pencils with a lot of students. A few weeks ago, as I was explaining some geometry to a student, I used a standard pencil as an example of a hexagon and we walked through the geometry displayed in it. "How many degrees are each angle?" I've also used a pencil to apply ratios and algebra. "What is the ratio of length to width on this pencil?" What percentage of the length is the ferrule?"

I have several things in my tutoring center that play with the mind by using strange proportions. I look for ways to get students to think with a different part of their brain.

I know a man who has a saw mill. He repurposes old power poles. Around here, that means cedar. I asked him to mill some 1/2" boards that were 12' long and 12" wide. Those boards are all bright yellow now.
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tutusaad10 months ago

many years back as a young man learned a technique to remember things ( any thing) which are in sequence. I could remember and recall those more than hundred item names without missing the sequence. The trick was to link one after one by building up a story. While making up the mental picture, the rule was not to visualize it as normal size shape or as single number. Say if the first object was a screw driver, visualize that as big as a sky scraper, next object say was a book, get a mental picture as hundred of flying books are coming and landing on top roof of the screw driver. Go on adding other items sequentially , making sure mental image is as outrageous possible. This process make neurons activity in our brain more profound, usually these don't erases easily, and we can recall the sequence easily. This huge pencil image and the its making has fired so many neurons, I wander , how long this will remain in my memory hard disc !

shotgunshane2 years ago
I think you would get pulled over by the cops for that.
hopporto3 years ago
Nonononononononoonononono NO...Weapon of Math Disruption
2 years ago
lol. couldnt help it
3 years ago
Ok i gotta admit it, your comment is pretty cool :)
sfreeman1 (author)  hopporto3 years ago
Could be!
poofrabbit3 years ago
I just saw that you won! I'm so very excited for you as this is one of the best instructables and out of the box thinking I've ever seen! I can't wait to see what you come up with next!
sfreeman1 (author)  poofrabbit3 years ago
Thank you poofrabbit. I appreciate your kind comments.

I checked out some of your instructables. You are quite artistic.

I am working on my second instructable and hope to be ready to post it in a day or two.

Keep up the good work.
sfreeman1 (author) 3 years ago
A giant "Thank you" to everyone who has taken the time and effort to view my first Instructable. I greatly appreciate having been selected as a winner in the "EXTREME! Challenge". I am considering mounting the GoPro camera on the tip of the pencil. That way, I can show the world from "The Pencil Point" of view!
FreeStrange3 years ago
5 star's and a vote. This is a project that I normally wouldn't have looked at, but after reading the first two paragraphs you got me really curious. Well written and well thought out project. Really took me on your journey to build this. Will follow and hope for future projects from you sir!
sfreeman1 (author)  FreeStrange3 years ago
Thanks a lot FreeStrange. I hope to add more Instructables. Odd things come out of my shop at times...like the Model A Ford pictured as my icon here.
kaatryn3 years ago
A first I thought it was just a model with a regular pencit, but wow! I am impressed!
sfreeman1 (author)  kaatryn3 years ago
You found me out! It really is a regular pencil. The bigger secret is that I figured out a way to shrink my wife's truck. Now if I can only figure out how to get to back to full size and save my marriage!

Just kidding. thanks for your kind remark.
DrakerDG3 years ago
Incredible work.

I have really wanted to imitate.

It looks like a pencil Land of the Giants!
sfreeman1 (author)  DrakerDG3 years ago
I like that DrakerDG!
GeekBeam3 years ago
showed this project to a couple of friends, they laughed...tis an interesting project, what brought it back into your mind after all those years?
sfreeman1 (author)  GeekBeam3 years ago
I'm glad your friends liked it.

I have many things that play with proportion around my place, like a 24" tall, soft-serve ice-cream cone and another pencil that is 4' long. I have some over-sized coins, some extremely undersized coins and other "odd" stuff.

Seeking a project which I could tie into my business, that old pencil came to mind.

Thanks rymndgeekyguy!
3 years ago
most interesting, I certainly hope you give more instructables in the future, live long and post awesome!
supersoftdrink3 years ago
Neat instructable, and great pics!

I originally clicked on it because it shares the title of an interesting book by John Taylor Gatto, also formerly a public schoolteacher for at least 30 years, who has a lot of intriguing points about education.

Are you going to try to make one that writes now? :)
3 years ago
I was thinking it wouldn't be too hard to mount a briquette into the tip, sharpen it up and scribble away...
sfreeman1 (author)  Michael_oz3 years ago
Mounting the briquette would be pretty easy but grasping a 20' pencil that weighs 240 pounds might be a bit tough.
3 years ago
Move the paper, not the pencil ;)
Mienja3 years ago
>>--->sfreeman1 -
Looked up something for you. Not sure it will fit the bill but all you do is Google Graphite Rods
http://www.naccarbon.com/
or http://www.graphitestore.com/

Slap one of those into a wood tube cut from a pole and Voila!
It would be a giant pencil you can actually write with.
sfreeman1 (author)  Mienja3 years ago
It would be pretty easy for me to add graphite to this pencil but there is still the problem of writing with a 20' pencil that weighs 240 lbs.

Thanks for your efforts.
3 years ago
hehe...yes...also I tried to google for a super giant eraser and found none that would fit a pencil that huge...alas you'll have to make sure you don't make any mistakes ;)
sfreeman1 (author)  Mienja3 years ago
Well, Mienja, that's easy. I nevr mack miscakes!
explosivemaker3 years ago
5 stars and +1 vote

It's sad people think they can win by just adding one word to the title.....At least try to be awesome and put as much in as this project took.
sfreeman1 (author)  explosivemaker3 years ago
Thank you very much for the 5 stars and the vote (in the contest) and the vote of confidence.
retrosurfer3 years ago
you should use this as a sign for your tutoring business. that way the kids would see it every time they came to be tutored.
sfreeman1 (author)  retrosurfer3 years ago
One of my students suggested today that I should install it in the yard and put benches alongside of it so kids could sit on the benches and use the pencil for a table to do their work with me. I love it when my kids start thinking "outside the (pencil) box".
hkrahlin3 years ago
Wonderful. I woudl have made it a red editor's pencil - but that says something about my character. Thinking I should make a red editor and a blue proofer pencil in honor of my Father. Thank you so much for posting this.
sfreeman1 (author)  hkrahlin3 years ago
I'm glad you've gotten some inspiration from this pencil. I'd love to see your red and blue ones when you finish them. Good luck.
dakellymon3 years ago
That is very cool, well done.
ekardell3 years ago
Insanely great.
sfreeman1 (author)  ekardell3 years ago
Thanks!
depotdevoid3 years ago
That's an awesomely oversize pencil!
sfreeman1 (author)  depotdevoid3 years ago
Thanks depotdevoid!
oilitright3 years ago
You can tell it is a brand new pencil; no one has chewed on it yet!
cammers3 years ago
Great work. I love it.
Thanks for sharing.
sfreeman1 (author)  cammers3 years ago
Thanks cammers. I appreciate each of the kind comments the project has received. I'm hoping they are translating into votes for the contest so my students can gain some new tools for our classes.
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